Last updated on: 3/28/2018 | Author:

US Presidential Rankings

  A. B. C. D. E. F.
  Presidential Greatness Survey
Jan. 16, 20181
Brookings Institution
Apr. 2, 20152
Siena Research Institute (SRI)
July 1, 20103
Wall Street Journal & Federalist Society
Feb.-Mar. 20055
Schlesinger, Jr.

1 Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln Franklin Roosevelt Abraham Lincoln George Washington Abraham Lincoln
2 George Washington George Washington Theodore Roosevelt George Washington Abraham Lincoln George Washington
3 Franklin Roosevelt Franklin Roosevelt Abraham Lincoln Franklin Roosevelt Franklin Roosevelt Franklin Roosevelt
4 Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt George Washington Theodore Roosevelt Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson
5 Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson Harry Truman Theodore Roosevelt Andrew Jackson
6 Harry Truman Harry Truman James Madison John F. Kennedy Ronald Reagan Theodore Roosevelt
7 Dwight Eisenhower Dwight Eisenhower James Monroe Thomas Jefferson Harry Truman Woodrow Wilson
8 Barack Obama Bill Clinton Woodrow Wilson Dwight Eisenhower Dwight Eisenhower Harry Truman
9 Ronald Reagan Andrew Jackson Harry Truman Woodrow Wilson James Polk James Polk
10 Lyndon Johnson Woodrow Wilson Dwight Eisenhower Ronald Reagan Andrew Jackson Dwight Eisenhower
11 Woodrow Wilson Ronald Reagan John F. Kennedy Lyndon Johnson Woodrow Wilson John Adams
12 James Madison Lyndon Johnson James Polk James Polk Grover Cleveland John F. Kennedy
13 Bill Clinton James Madison Bill Clinton Andrew Jackson John Adams Grover Cleveland
14 John Adams John F. Kennedy Andrew Jackson James Monroe William McKinley Lyndon Johnson
15 Andrew Jackson John Adams Barack Obama Bill Clinton John F. Kennedy James Monroe
16 John F. Kennedy James Monroe Lyndon Johnson William McKinley James Monroe William McKinley
17 George H.W. Bush George H.W. Bush John Adams John Adams James Madison James Madison
18 James Monroe Barack Obama Ronald Reagan George H.W. Bush Lyndon Johnson John Quincy Adams
19 William McKinley James Polk John Quincy Adams John Quincy Adams George W. Bush Benjamin Harrison
20 James Polk William Taft Grover Cleveland James Madison William Taft Bill Clinton
21 Ulysses Grant William McKinley William McKinley Grover Cleveland George H.W. Bush Martin Van Buren
22 William Taft John Quincy Adams George H.W. Bush Gerald Ford Bill Clinton William Taft
23 John Quincy Adams Grover Cleveland Martin Van Buren Ulysses Grant Calvin Coolidge Rutherford Hayes
24 Grover Cleveland Gerald Ford William Taft William Taft Rutherford Hayes George H.W. Bush
25 Gerald Ford Martin Van Buren Chester Arthur Jimmy Carter John Quincy Adams Ronald Reagan
26 Jimmy Carter Jimmy Carter Ulysses Grant Calvin Coolidge Chester Arthur Chester Arthur
27 Martin Van Buren Calvin Coolidge James Garfield Richard Nixon Martin Van Buren Jimmy Carter
28 Calvin Coolidge Ulysses Grant Gerald Ford James Garfield Gerald Ford Gerald Ford
29 Rutherford Hayes Benjamin Harrison Calvin Coolidge Zachary Taylor Ulysses Grant Zachary Taylor
30 George W. Bush Rutherford Hayes Richard Nixon Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison Calvin Coolidge
31 Chester Arthur James Garfield Rutherford Hayes Martin Van Buren Herbert Hoover Millard Fillmore
32 William Harrison Chester Arthur Jimmy Carter Chester Arthur Richard Nixon John Tyler
33 Richard Nixon Zachary Taylor Zachary Taylor Rutherford Hayes Zachary Taylor Franklin Pierce
34 James Garfield Richard Nixon Benjamin Harrison Herbert Hoover Jimmy Carter Ulysses Grant
35 Zachary Taylor George W. Bush William Harrison John Tyler John Tyler Herbert Hoover
36 Herbert Hoover John Tyler Herbert Hoover George W. Bush Millard Fillmore Richard Nixon
37 John Tyler Millard Fillmore John Tyler Millard Fillmore Andrew Johnson Andrew Johnson
38 Millard Fillmore Herbert Hoover Millard Fillmore Warren Harding Franklin Pierce James Buchanan
39 Warren Harding William Harrison George W. Bush William Harrison Warren Harding Warren Harding
40 Andrew Johnson Franklin Pierce Franklin Pierce Franklin Pierce James Buchanan  
41 Franklin Pierce Andrew Johnson Warren Harding Andrew Johnson    
42 William Harrison Warren Harding James Buchanan James Buchanan    
43 James Buchanan James Buchanan Andrew Johnson      
44 Donald Trump          

Sources and notes:



  1. The 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey was conducted by Brandon Rottinghaus and Justin S. Vaughn, who surveyed current and recent members of the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association and received 170 usable responses between Dec. 22, 2017 and Jan. 16, 2018. Note that while President Trump is making his debut on this poll at the bottom of the list, he took office on Jan. 20, 2017, after the poll was conducted. Trump and all the former US Presidents were rated on a scale of 0-100 for their “overall greatness.” Abraham Lincoln scored the highest with an average rating of 95.03, while Donald Trump scored the lowest with an average rating of 12.34. The results were published at
  2. Poll of several hundred members of the American Political Science Association by the Brookings Institution; Brandon Rottinghaus and Justin S. Vaughn, “Measuring Obama against the Great Presidents,”, Apr. 2, 2015
  3. Participants were 238 “presidential scholars, historians and political scientists;” “Presidents 2010 Rank by Category,”, July 1, 2010
  4. Participants were 65 “presidential historians” and “other professional observers of the presidency;” “C-SPAN 2009 Historians Presidential Leadership Survey,”, 2009
  5. Participants were 8 correspondents, editors, bureau chiefs, columnists, and writers of The Times; “Who’s the Greatest? The Times US Presidential Rankings,” by Jeremy Griffin and Nico Hines,, Oct. 28, 2008
  6. Because of the short durations of their terms, William Henry Harrison and James Garfield were excluded from this ranking; participants were 85 “professors of history, law, political science and economics… the presidents are ranked in order of mean score, adjusted to give equal weight to Democratic- and Republican-leaning respondents;” “The Rankings,”, Sep. 12, 2005
  7. Participants were 32 “historians and close observers of presidential leadership;” “Rating the Presidents: Washington to Clinton,” by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Political Science Quarterly, Summer 1997